The financial health of an organization is critical for its success. From making financial decisions to analyzing market trends, financial managers are responsible for handling all aspects of a company’s finances. Below, find out more about the role, as well as how to become a financial manager.
What Does a Financial Manager Do?
Employed at either a company or a consulting firm, a financial manager is in charge of an organization’s financial health. In addition to supervising finance employees, they collaborate with other management and top executives to make financial decisions that will lead to achieving short- and long-term financial goals. A financial manager generates reports on business activity and finances, produces forecasts and controls investment activities.
Additionally, they evaluate market trends to determine ways to maximize profits and review their company’s financial reports to identify ways to reduce costs. They also monitor financial details and conduct audits to ensure that their organization’s finances comply with policies and local, state and federal laws and regulations.
How to Become a Financial Manager
When you’re thinking of how to become a financial manager, remember that many employers require that you have a master’s degree in an area such as business administration, accounting, economics or finance. As you earn your degree, getting an internship or an entry-level position at a company can help you get your foot in the door and provide you with valuable hands-on experience in the field.
Being a financial manager requires that you have good analytical, communication, critical thinking, decision-making and math skills. You should also be tech-savvy and proficient in spreadsheet and word processing software applications. Financial managers tend to be natural leaders who are good at influencing and persuading others.
Climbing the Ladder
It’s common for financial managers to work their way up the ladder within their companies. This can demonstrate that you have a good understanding of the various departments within your organization. Usually, financial managers have more than five years of previous experience in a finance or business management role.
To prepare for the role of financial manager, you may also be able to receive formal financial management training while on the job or outside of your workplace. Additionally, you must stay current on global market trends and state and federal regulations. You can attend conferences and seminars to stay informed on what is happening. Later, you could advance your career and become a chief financial officer and be in charge of an entire company’s financial reporting.
While it’s not usually required, a professional certification can help demonstrate your competency and proficiency in a certain area. There are several certifications available, including:
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): Administered through the CFA Institute, this certification for investment professionals requires that you have at least a bachelor’s degree plus four years of work experience. The certification’s three exams may take 18 months to four years to complete. Each exam requires completion of a self-study program that includes problem sets, reading and practice questions.
- Certified Treasury Professional: Issued through the Association for Financial Professionals, this certification requires a minimum of two years of relevant experience.
- Certified Public Account (CPA): Through your state’s board of accountancy, you can earn your CPA license by taking the Uniform CPA Examination, which is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Typically, you need a certain level of education and amount of work experience to qualify to take the four-part test. You must also continue your education to maintain your certification.
How Much Do Financial Managers Earn?
The salary for financial managers varies by industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for financial managers is $127,990 per year. Financial managers who are employed by a government agency earn a median annual wage of $112,830, while those in professional, scientific and technical services earn $151,610 per year.
The BLS predicts that through 2026, employment for financial managers will grow 19%.
Take the Next Step Toward Becoming a Financial Manager
To increase your salary potential and become a financial manager, Emmanuel’s online Master of Business Administration program can give you the advanced skills you need. As you prepare to be an ethical business leader, you will explore key topics that include finance, business law, economics, organizational strategy and more. In addition, the program offers a flexible format that allows you to complete your coursework whenever it’s most convenient.